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Arsene Wenger has hailed Olivier Giroud after the striker came off the bench to plunder a late winner for Arsenal in their opening-day comeback victory over Leicester City.
A brace from Jamie Vardy and a Shinji Okazaki meant the Foxes led 3-2 as the match entered the final 10 minutes.
New signing Alexandre Lacazette had fired the Gunners into a second minute lead while Danny Welbeck had made it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time.
With the game drifting away from Arsenal, Wenger brought on Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud and on 82 minutes the Welshman levelled the game before Giroud's fantastic header gave them a morale-boosting win.
And the Arsenal boss was effusive in his praise of his compatriot for staying to fight for his place at the club.
“It is fantastic [Giroud choosing to stay],” Wenger said.
“You know, I must say I opened the door for him at some stage because I know that it’s important for him to play.
“But I don’t want him to go and in the end he decided to stay and it was one of the days of recent weeks for me because I know how important he is.
“Not only as a player, he is a fantastic player, but as well in the group. He has a big weight in the squad and it was a relief for me that he decided to stay.”
“No [Giroud will not leave]. It’s a determined no.”
Manchester City face Premier League new boys Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, 12 August, a match that will be shown live on BT Sport on the eir sport platform [kick off 5.30pm]
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